SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has identified 38 coronavirus-neutralizing antibodies to treat those who are infected with the novel coronavirus, the country's public health agency said Monday.
The state-run National Institute of Health (NIH) and local bio-pharmaceutical firm Celltrion Inc. secured the virus-neutralizing antibody candidates from the blood of people who tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The neutralizing antibodies possess properties that can effectively make the virus harmless and help treat virus patients.
"All the candidate materials have promise, with 14, in particular, having been shown to possess very strong neutralizing capabilities," the KCDC said.
All neutralizing antibodies will undergo thorough and detailed tests as well as be evaluated on lab animals.
The public health authority said that it plans to work closely with other research organizations to come up with antibody-based treatment processes as soon as possible.
As of Sunday, South Korea has reported 10,537 people infected with the novel coronavirus since its first outbreak in late January. Of the total, 7,447 have been cured and released from quarantine, with the death toll standing at 217.
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